Tiger Woods: Why He Could Be So Much Better

Posted on April 6, 2010. Filed under: Performance | Tags: , , , |

Get Em' Tiger, No Wait...

Tiger’s workout regiment produced by Keith Kleven is based on old ideas, but nothing of any scientific value. There’s two things we need to consider: Time efficiency and Skill development.

Outlined on Tiger Wood’s website, all there seems to be is unproductive training habits that although it may make you think he’s so good because of his fitness regiment, the 2-10 hours of golf practice a day is what is most likely keeping him afloat and excelling in his sport. Let’s run through what’s wrong and what we would fix in his program to keep him as good as he can possible be.

Looking at his cardio training: A 3 mile speed run or an endurance run of up to 7 miles, although soothing is not nearly as specific enough for the demands of his sport. Although most people would think, “There’s no cardio in golf,” we should examine it more from a local endurance stand point (hitting the tee numerous times throughout an 18hole course).

What does this mean in terms of cardio? Nothing really. The amount of time he spends in play is Hit the ball really, really hard; or hit it very precisely with long rest periods in between. A normal game of 18 holes, on a par 3 course, consists of about 3 hours if you take about 2 minutes per shot. What that means is you take a really long time before each shot, so that your body can create enough energy without needing that much oxygen.

To get what I’m trying to say, let’s first remember that two the lenses we want to evaluate everything from is Time and Skill. We want to keep the workout sessions as short as possible, so that most of his recovery is better spent working on his golf game.

If golf doesn’t need that much cardio to begin with, than why waste time in training trying to increase it – we aren’t training a marathoner…

Working Out, It Ain't Grrreeeaaaaat

Moving onto Strength Training: We notice that he is training for symmetry, but why? Golf is based on asymmetry (training specifically one side, as normally you use your dominant hand and dominant side of body to give you the power and precision you need, each and every time), that is why we need to make sure that our strength training program establishes asymmetry, but on the opposite side and motions of his sport practice.

Although lifting 25 to 50 reps sounds like a good idea, it’s actually very poor use of time. We are looking mainly for power production. 1-3 rep range with about 75-95% of your 1 rep max (most amount of weight you can lift once), is the most time efficient and will help increase driving range much more substantially, than simply “gutting it out.” What this means is that basically we are trying to lift A lot of weight, but in a small rep range, to make sure that we keep muscle size development as minimal as possible. We want to keep any muscle functional, and these low rep ranges helps do just that.

*Side note: This is the general consensus, make sure to read the end of the article to actually see if that is the right rep changes to train or not.

Tiger says, “If you keep your muscles guessing, it makes them work harder. Whatever I’m doing, I’m careful not to overstress my muscles. I push to the point of muscle failure, not pain.” The problem with first keeping muscles guessing is you actually delay what you are trying to produce – a better, quicker, more powerful body. The body needs time to adapt and needs to know what it’s trying to adapt too, by constantly seeking muscle confusion, you are going against basic strength training and physiological principles.

Do what you need to, nothing more, nothing less.

We must also remember that muscle failure is actually training your body to get better at muscle failure. Remember that we get better at what we practice, and training to muscle failure does just that.

Vanity: Thought he didn't train for the Muscles?

Finally, Flexibility Training: I would have to say out of everything Tiger is doing, this is the crappiest thing to do, period. Flexibility training should be reserves for gymnasts and dancers, and even then to what degree is still to be examined. The main point being is that Flexibility training doesn’t look for force leakages. A 5-10 min routine working on joint mobility focuses on finding what isn’t moving like it should, so we can develop a more efficient and powerful body.

Think about it this way, you can only make a junk engine so good before you need to clean it, oil it, and modify it. Flexibility and strength training assumes that your body is moving like it should. Fix the movement, and you automatically improve the game.

Summary: Look Tiger is a good player, period. I meant that literally for all the folks that may be thinking about something else…but his training program needs a revamping. What’s crappy is that we got some crappy trainers in high places who are offering sporting advice to pros doing really well, but it’s in spite of their training, rather than because of it. Hopefully you realize that the primary focus should always be am I really doing what I need to do to get good at what I REALLY want to be good at.

The best thing to do is to actually test what you do, day in and day out. Experience the gains that multitudes of people are getting without pain, while testing getting stronger, faster, better than everybody else. Who woulda thunk you could use your body, rather than some expensive Omegawave to tell you how you should run your own training? Get Better…without the expensive equipment!

Who Loves You? – Darryl Lardizabal


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